10 Bad Skincare Habits We Should All Ditch In 2022

By Simone Sydel··  10 min read
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From buying products we don't need to relying on TikTok to fix our skin ailments, here are 10 bad skincare habits we should all ditch in 2022.

1. Sleeping in Your Makeup

Regularly sleeping in your makeup can affect your skin in different ways but never in a good way. If your skin is on the dry side, sleeping in your makeup can dehydrate it even more and make your pores and fine lines appear more pronounced.

On the other hand, if your skin is on the oily side, well, hello, breakouts! Makeup and oily skin is already a risky combo on its own, but wearing your makeup for a long time, including sleeping in it, can definitely lead to clogged pores, which will then welcome all sorts of inflammatory and non-inflammatory conditions such as blackheads, whiteheads, and even severe acne.

Furthermore, let's not forget the potential danger of eye infections that can occur if you wear your mascara for a long time and keep adding to it the next day instead of thoroughly removing it first.

To avoid all this, you can simplify your makeup routine and spend as little as 5-10 minutes removing your makeup and prepping your skin for bed. Another good option is to use cleansing balms or oils, as these will remove your makeup easily and save you even more time and energy.

Product to try: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm Makeup Remover ($34)

2. Using Too Many Products

Cosmetic products are made from synthetic ingredients, and although you can say that most of these offer some benefit to the skin, be it through an antioxidant that fights free radicals or antibacterial components that target acne, these are still synthetic ingredients that your skin might have a hard time dealing with in some instances.

I'm specifically talking about the instance of using too many products. No matter how good or how beneficial the ingredients are, the fact is that long and elaborate skincare routines can increase your chances of irritation because the human skin hasn't evolved to deal with all these different ingredients at once, and it will freak out when you feed it with a gazillion different products.

Your skincare routine should only have 3 or 4 products.

Not only that, but some ingredients don't mix very well with one another and can cancel each other's activity, meaning the different products you’re applying are close to being useless and doing nothing beneficial for your skin.

So, for the sake of your skin's health, leave long skincare routines that consist of more than 3 or 4 products behind and enter the new year with a simpler yet more efficient routine that works for your skin, your skin concerns, and your wallet.

3. Over-Exfoliating

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface by using a chemical substance, a granular substance, or an exfoliating tool such as cleansing brushes.

Your skin naturally sheds dead (or mature) skin cells to make room for new (young) cells every 30 days; however, sometimes, dead skin cells don't shed completely, and this can result in dry, flaky patches, clogged pores, and acne.

Exfoliating can help prevent this; therefore, it's a common step in a healthy skincare routine. That being said, healthy skin isn't about how young the skin cells are, but how well the cells can communicate with other cells across the skin layers and how well they can regulate within their immediate environment.

The dead skin cells, or corneocytes, are indispensable in the skin's healthy ecosystem, even though they may technically be considered “dead.” The most optimal corneocytes are the ones that have fully matured and are flattened and larger in shape and size. No, they don’t look plump, bright, or radiant, but their maturity, structure, fortified cell walls, and higher surface area allows them to hold the most amount of what’s called the Natural Moisturizing Factors, or NMFs.

Young and fresh cells can’t hold onto much water because they can’t withstand the osmotic pressure of water building up within their walls. This is why over-exfoliation, or the over-removal of dead skin cells, harms the skin because it leaves behind immature cells that may look bright, plump, and radiant but can’t help the skin keep itself hydrated and protected.

Older skin cells hold moisture better than new skin cells.

Lack of hydration can not only make the skin look dry and feel uncomfortable, but it can lead to the disruption of the skin barrier and the inability of the skin to protect itself from external pathogens. When this happens, the skin will become irritated and inflamed to the point where even splashing some water on it will sting and burn.

Therefore, while regular exfoliation should still take place in a good skincare regimen, this is definitely a process that needs to be reserved for no more than 2 or 3 times a week.

Product to try: Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($30)

4. Skipping Sun Protection

Since the skin is the largest organ of the human body, maintaining homeostasis and protecting it from ultraviolet radiation is essential.

UV radiation can indeed cause all sorts of skin damage, including the breakdown of collagen and elastin, uneven melanin distribution, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and dull and sallow skin. But besides that, overexposure to UV rays can also trigger disorders in immune regulation and lead to life-threatening cancers. So obviously, protecting your skin from all this damage is in your best interest.

The most efficient way to protect your skin from all this is to do the extra step of applying sunscreen in areas that are going to be exposed to the sun. Additionally, there are other stylish ways to protect your skin from UV damage, including wearing hats, protective clothing, sunglasses, and gloves.

5. Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes

Not washing your makeup brushes is something that you have to ditch in the new year if you want to stop exposing your skin to dirt, oil, and bacteria that can be harmful.

In essence, dirty brushes can cause all sorts of infections and bacteria buildup that can lead to breakouts and skin blemishes in a short period of time.

A good rule of thumb is to wash your most used makeup brushes, as well as those brushes that you use for cream-based products such as foundations and concealers, once every two weeks or, at the very least, once a month.

6. Eating Inflammatory Foods

"New Year, new me" has a lot to do with ditching unhealthy habits, and a big portion of this is diet, especially eating inflammatory foods that can mess with our hormones and, therefore, the function of our body.

Furthermore, components found in various foods we consume daily are often the culprits capable of triggering many skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and allergies through a long and complicated process. A few components, such as sugar, pasteurized dairy, cocoa, and even spicy foods have been linked to exacerbating or even causing these inflammatory skin conditions.

Sugar, pasteurized dairy, cocoa, and spicy foods can exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions.

So, while completely avoiding unhealthy foods can be an unrealistic goal for many, it's always a good idea to at least consume what we know isn't good for us in moderation.

7. Not Drinking Enough Water

While drinking a lot of water won’t directly help get rid of specific skin conditions, it's definitely a good habit to get into in the new year, as it can take you a step closer to healthy skin.

We know that drinking a good amount of water is beneficial for our body because it maintains the balance of body fluids and can help digestion, circulation, the creation of saliva, and the maintenance of body temperature. Besides that, drinking a good amount of water can help transport nutrients and oxygen to cells, including skin cells, thus keeping our cells alive and healthy and giving us healthy and functioning skin.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to drink 2 liters of water a day to be healthy as 1 liter is still good enough. It's even better to start small and build the habit of drinking water, especially if you have been neglecting this for a long time.

8. Drinking Alcohol

It's well known that alcoholic beverages like red wine contain antioxidants that are good for you and improve blood circulation. However, consuming alcohol in excess is never a good choice if you aim to have beautiful skin.

Alcohol is a toxin with little nutritional value and can contribute to decreased liver function, reduced immunity, hormone disruption, cell damage, and insulin issues due to containing high amounts of sugar. And these are all things your skin's health and appearance pretty much depend on.

Consuming alcohol in excess can also lead to permanent skin conditions like rosacea.

Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, which can make you rapidly lose water from the body, leaving your skin dehydrated, dull, and sallow-looking.

Consuming alcohol in excess can also lead to permanent skin conditions like rosacea, which can be controlled, but it’s a challenging condition to deal with, and it requires special care and attention.

9. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your skin in several ways.

First things first, inadequate sleep raises your cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone. This hormone inhibits collagen formation, which is the protein that keeps your skin smooth, plump, and wrinkle-free. Additionally, cortisol also triggers inflammation, making your skin more prone to acne and more sensitive to allergic reactions. A small study of 144 medical students aged 22-24 indicated that an increase in stress severity strongly correlated with an increase in acne severity, which was statistically significant.

Furthermore, stress and lack of sleep can also make you fall off the wagon and neglect your skincare routine, resulting in changes in the skin's health and appearance. Therefore, the new year might be the perfect time to get into a good sleeping habit and avoid those late nights as much as you possibly can.

10. Relying on TikTok for Advice

TikTok is a platform where unchecked and sometimes downright harmful skincare advice is allowed to flourish. However, saying that all of it is bad isn't right either, and I've picked up quite a few useful tips from professionals in the industry, such as dermatologists, estheticians, and experienced beauty therapists who use the platform. Nevertheless, completely relying on TikTok for advice and skincare recommendations is something we should collectively ditch in the new year.

At the very least, we should think a little more critically of the tips and hacks we see in these videos and not immediately assume that they work and will somehow benefit our skin.

TikTok advice entertains a broad audience and isn't a tailored remedy for your skin concerns.

Even if these tips come from a dermatologist, consider the fact that what you're seeing is a video that entertains a broad audience and isn't a tailored remedy for your skin concerns, which may be different from someone else's, even if you might be dealing with the same condition. For example, not every product for acne will work for everyone dealing with acne. Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent acne-fighting component, and while some swear by it, others have experienced irritations from using it.

Therefore, even though TikTok provides great entertainment, take everything you see there with a grain of salt and always consult a specialist who will help you find a customized routine that works for you.

Closing Thoughts

Many of us have fallen under bad skincare advice, whether from the internet or simply from not paying too much attention to how certain things affect our skin. And while some skin damage can be repaired, it's always a good idea to ditch unhealthy skin habits and prevent skin damage instead of treating it after it's done.

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